Monday, October 26, 2020

[Found Treasures] Early TSR Correspondence

Proof that the Nerd is strong in this one... 

I am finally going through the pile of boxes that has been sitting in our garage for the last four years, and that were sitting in storage in one place or another for the last, um... eep... 16 years before that?

OK, so I am a pack rat. But sometimes being a pack rat pays off, as when I opened a box I had not opened in... um... 20 years, and amongst other things from my childhood and youth, discovered this letter...

Now, my memory is terrible. I KNOW I started playing D&D when I received the Moldvay Basic Set, which I THOUGHT I had received for Christmas in 1980, though the release date of it was not until January 1981, so... either the release date was early (Mom & Dad did get it from Toys R' Us, so maybe), or I did not get it and start playing until December 1981.

Which means from the dating of my letter of April 5, 1982, that I was bit by the game publishing bug within four months at the earliest (16 months at the latest if that set was available for Christmas 1980).

I have no memory of sending the letter or even of receiving the reply. Shame, that. The next time I would try corresponding with Gary would be when I was in grad school, in 1993. But that's another story...


  1. You'd think that they would have just enclosed the Outside Submission Forms (TMs and patents pending ;) ) with their reply vs. making you write back again....


    1. You would think, indeed. It might have been an interdepartmental thing, ir maybe that way submissions were sent in without seeming favoritism...

  2. Just a note to myself, I am pretty sure at this point that it was Christmas 1981, as one of the easily dated purchases was my first Dragon Magazine, #57, published January 1982. In one of the few very distinct memories I have from that era, I remember purchasing it at B&A Hobbies in Michigan City, Indiana, shortly after getting D&D for Christmas. B&A was the first place I found more D&D, and Dragon #57 was m very first D&D purchase. I remember the salesman telling me it was the latest issue, so that pretty well nails it all down to Christmas 1981... shortly thereafter, I discovered that Hallmark Cards in Marquette Mall, also in Michigan City, carried D&D stuff, and there I bought my first purchased module, B1, and the Dungeon Master's Guide. That DMG has inscribed inside it the following on the inside cover:

    James Mishler
    (Home Address)
    If found in school
    Homeroom is Emlet 151
    Locker 722

    Mr. Emlet was my 7th-grade homeroom teacher, and I was in 7th grade 1981-1982... more evidence for the dating of that Christmas.

    1. I also cut my teeth on the Moldvay Basic set on Xmas '81... along with the Atari 2600 it made for the best Christmas ever!